General Motors has said it will spend over US$30m on tooling and equipment at its Pontiac stamping plant to improve manufacturing capabilities, retaining 290 hourly and salaried jobs.

"GM continues to invest in our manufacturing operations to ensure we have the technology and equipment we need to build whatever our vehicle designers develop," said Gerald Johnson, GM manufacturing manager. "Orion Assembly is the primary customer for Pontiac Stamping and we know how important the launch of the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano are to our customers."

The investments will cover upgrading three conventional press lines already operating at the plant and the installation of two additional presses that are coming to the factory as part of GM's stamping consolidation project. This will position Pontiac Stamping as a regional centre supporting many plants.

"This investment is the result of the employee's commitment to quality and how they work as a team to support their customers," said plant manager Alicia Boler-Davis.

Pontiac Stamping opened in 1932 and provides parts for several cars including the Sonic [redesigned Aveo] and the Buick Verano [a luxury variant of the Chevy Cruze], both launching later this year.

Oakland Country executive Brooks Patterson said: "After a few challenging years, it is great to see GM investing in our community. It's a sign that the auto industry is back."